GT: I think im going to sleep.
TT: Jake, you're going to just dump your shit on her?
TT: Real nice, bro.
GT: Shut up! Its not like i went out and planned to get myself injured like this.
GT: Im tired of your bullshit anyway.
GT: All you do is go on about stars and alien relations and absolute bullclop that means NOTHING anymore and you know it.
GT: Shove your plans strider!
GT: Thats what i say!
TT: You are such a fucking prick.
TT: In case you forgot, I'm trying to find you primarily so I can punch your attractive face in.
TT: Or are you suddenly not into your precious fisticuffs anymore?
GT: Fat chance!
GT: And of course im the prick even though you never seem to sleep what with being so wrapped up in your fiendish friggin ploys.
GT: Its been at least two cycles since ive seen hide or hair of rolal over there.
GT: Why dont you let her out of your prison basement for a few hours?
TT: Fuck you.
TT: I'm busy.
GT: I want to talk to her.
GT: I dont want to talk to you!
GT: All you do is interfere with everything i want to do and talking to you or even damn well THINKING about you makes me so mad i dont know what to do with myself.
GT: Its absolutely infuriating.
GT: Heavens to betsy im hot and bothered over this conversation.
TT: Get in line.
TT: I'm going to find you and beat the shit out of you and it's going to be the best thing we ever did in our lives, so stop getting on my case about the kind of thing someone of your pathetic intelligence couldn't possibly understand.
GT: I think you will be the one with the shit beaten out of him mister!
TT: Bring it.
GT: Oh i will!
Jane wakes up with her head aching. She's wearing Jake's shirt and her skirt, and she swings her feet to the floor and sits there for a long moment, staring at the walls. She wants nothing more than to go back to sleep and dream of the life she used to have before SBURB ruined everything. The game is a blur in her mind. A frenzy of panic and determination and that one scant moment of hope before the end.
And then this nightmare.
She rubs at her eyes, exhausted to the very core. She gets to her feet slowly and walks over the few steps to her and Jake's shared computer. It takes her a moment to log into her user name, the old Problem Sleuth background bright in the relative dark of their shared room. Her chat client comes online a moment later, and she doesn't even have to wait a second before she's assaulted by windows demanding her attention.
GT: I absolutely did not do this to antagonize you! Dont believe a single thing dirk tells you!
GT: Heavens im just so tired of being angry all the time i want to get away from it for a while.
GT: I didnt mean to go out and get hurt im really sorry about this.
GT: I hope it doesnt ruin the cycle for you.
GT: I care for you quite a bit and please dont ever doubt it!
-- golgothasTerror [GT] is now offline --
GG: I have a headache.
TT: I know. He did too.
GG: What was he thinking going to bed like this?
GG: Who am I kidding? He doesn't think at all, does he?
GG: I am going to find a way to strangle the damn life out of him one of these days.
TT: Easy there.
GG: Ugh! I know.
TT: He went out exploring or something and came back an hour later with a story about falling down a bunch of boulders and having to climb out of a ditch.
TT: Except, you know, fifty times more excited because he gets excited about dumbass adventure.
GG: Oh, yes.
TT: It was fucking infuriating, the end.
TT: Anyway, sorry about the headache.
GG: It's fine.
GG: Oh dear, that is a huge bruise on the back of my head.
GG: Thanks for that, J! >:(
TT: Ice it. Eat something. I don't know if he ate.
GG: Probably not.
GG: I don't like this. I don't feel like me.
GG: It's incredibly scary.
GG: I don't want to wake up anymore.
TT: Jane, I
GG: I don't like what I'm turning into.
GG: I react to things entirely differently now and I'm angry so much when I think about you or J or Ro-Lal.
GG: Sometimes I think I just want to be alone forever but I don't want that either.
GG: I want to be me again. I hate this. I'm so tired.
TT: I know.
TT: I know exactly how you feel, okay, and it feels so fucking hopeless right now but we're going to figure this out.
TT: We're going to find each other and figure this whole fucking thing out and
TT: I don't know.
GG: Of course you don't know.
GG: You're not going to be able to fix this, Dirk!
GG: You need to get that damn naïve notion out of your head. Your stupid plans are going to get both of you killed over there if you keep this up.
TT: Shut up.
GG: You know I'm right.
TT: I need to find you, okay?
TT: I need that.
TT: I need something to do here. I've spent how much of my life planning? I don't know how to not plan, Jane.
GG: I know.
GG: Ugh. And I want you to find us too.
GG: It just feels so hopeless. Even if you find us, it won't matter.
GG: Nothing will change.
GG: We'll still hate each other.
TT: Don't say that.
TT: I really don't want to think about that right now.
GG: Yes. Yes, I feel the same.
GG: Sorry. :(
TT: Sorry I was an ass.
GG: My head hurts so much.
TT: Ice it.
TT: After that, can I ask you to do something for me?
TT: Go outside and take a picture of the night sky. Get as many stars as you can.
TT: I think I've got my star map complete enough to try and position you guys on it.
GG: And what if you don't recognize a single star?
TT: Then that means you're in the opposite hemisphere.
TT: Which is more than we know now.
GG: Okay. This headache isn't going away anytime soon. I'll go out and take your picture.
TT: I don't know. It feels good to type your name.
TT: I miss you.
TT: And J.
GG: Do you?
TT: I think so.
GG: I think I miss you and Ro-Lal too.
TT: I hate this.
-- timaeusTestified [TT] is now away --
It's sudden, but it doesn't surprise her. Thinking about the emotions she should feel but doesn't anymore always tears her up inside too. Jane sighs and sets her status to away, getting to her feet again and letting her eyes browse the walls for a moment, hands clasped in front of herself. Ice. Eat. Take Jake's camera out to snap a picture of the night sky. Not too hard. If she can just keep herself from thinking too much.
Jane is good at doubting things. Skepticism has been bred into her from long years of assassination attempts and the constant pranking that is natural to the Crocker lifestyle. It's gotten her into messes with her friends, messes in SBURB, and she's been trying to be more open to things she finds hard to believe.
But it's impossible to ignore the fact that she has green skin now. That she's a cherub now. She stands on her bare tiptoes (three to a foot) and fishes a box of stardust down from one of the cupboards. Three bowls litter the counter of their tiny kitchenette, all of them dirty and crusted with sugar and grime. Jake never does the dishes no matter how often she asks him. She takes a clean one down and fills it up with colorful powder. Eating this stuff reminds Jane of sitting on the counter in her father's kitchen, watching him fret over a from-scratch cake recipe and measure out the ingredients three times to make sure he had it right. Usually he stuck to cake mixes but this was a special occasion, and Jane dipped her fingers into the container when he wasn't looking and licked sugar off her fingers, grinning to herself.
The memory stings every time she tries to eat now.
She sinks down against one of the smooth, boring stone walls and stares into her bowl of sprinkles. How it fills her up and completes her diet she will never understand. There's no ice to be found on this planet. Instead she leans the back of her head tenderly against the cold wall and closes her eyes, eating her shitty breakfast slowly with a soup spoon.
She climbs up to the surface, ascending slowly as the stone turns cold under her feet. It's warmer down in their little crypt of a living quarters. It's cramped and small and it's packed with everything they need to survive. Even after weeks in this alien skin, Jane still doesn't know how she feels about that. About living in a box with everything provided to her by some source unseen. Jake doesn't seem as interested, but it's a mystery she wishes she had the tools to solve.
A steel hatch opens up into the wide open sky. The planet is desolate. There's no life on it. There's barely any atmosphere to breathe. As a cherub, she somehow doesn't need to breathe anymore. Her body was rearranged and reformatted at the end of the game, mashed with Jake's and stitched together at the soul before it dropped them here, no rules or regulations about their new genetics beyond what Roxy had pieced together from Calliope's descriptions of herself. Jake's ruined her skirt in his little adventure and she fights down an incandescent feeling of black rage at that, so frustrated with it all.
She sleeps and he takes over their body. Her hands are too large and her feet too large and she's taller than she should be but slighter than she remembers herself. She has too few fingers, too few toes, green skin and a face she refuses to look at in the mirror. She still looks a little like the old Jane Crocker, but handsome and rugged like Jake always looked, all of that wrapped in an alien skull with no hair or nose.
Learning to never say his name was the hard painful part; dropping to sleep instantly as soon as it left her lips or appeared on her computer screen. Making the interpersonal transition is incredibly disorienting without the use of their blue-and-green sarswapagus, which she doesn't understand at all. Roxy and Dirk have it just as bad. Jane misses being able to say her friends’ names whenever she wishes.
The real kicker is that cherubim don't have love. They’re so solitary they barely have friendly fondness. They only have hate. And what overwhelms Jane more than anything is the fact that the three people she used to care about most in the world, she now hates so strongly she regularly plots ways to bodily harm them.
She doesn't know what she is anymore. She doesn't know what to feel, other than the fact that she is absolutely terrified that eventually she will lose the small scrap of humanity she has left, and just hate them outright.
(She dreads that more than anything in the universe. They're all she has left.)
Jane snaps a handful of pictures of the clear night sky and then heads back inside. It seems so hopeless. She can't even trust her own feelings anymore. As far as she knows, the four of them are the only people in this entire awful world, and sometimes she wishes she never had to wake up again.
TT: Look, I'm going to sleep.
TT: J was right. I've been unfair to Ro-Lal.
TT: Really unfair.
TT: I'm so tired, but I wanted to keep working so she wouldn't fuck up my plans.
TT: So she wouldn't have to come back to this with no hope.
TT: Both of those, which is absolutely emotionally FUBAR, but we're nuts now so that's just how it's going to be.
TT: Thanks for the pictures. I'll get to them when she goes back to sleep, I guess.
TT: I miss you, Jane.
TT: I really do. Both of you.
TT: All of you, actually. As much as I want to strangle Ro-Lal, it would be a godsend to have a conversation with her again without having to sleep between messages.
TT: Probably you feel the same way.
TT: I have no idea what I'm going to do when we finally meet up again, but even though that freaky alien piece of my brain wants to tear your eyes out, I really hope we can figure out how to have regular human emotions again.
TT: Angels are shit.
TT: Anyway, sorry for waxing fucking sentimental in your inbox.
TT: Have a good awake cycle.
-- timaeusTestified [TT] is now offline --
TG: oh man i really feel like shit
TG: has it srsly been fuckin 19 hours since he slept
TG: what an assmagnet
TG: im gonna roll in itching powder or something else infuriating before i go 2 sleep next time
TG: stay up way too long keepin me in damn angel limbo hell like a pathetic baby
TG: oh "I didn't want to burden you with this." FUCK OFF DI STRI ITS MY LIFE
TG: rrrrrrrrrrrr im so mad i could just
GG: Cool down, Roxy!
TG: im gonna kill him jane im gonna srsly do it somehow
TG: im gonna find a way
GG: No you are not!
GG: Because if you kill him, I won't get to do it. And also then you wouldn't be around to get on my last nerve all the time.
TG: lolol damn straight
TG: or half the time neway
TG: god he even left me shit to do like
TG: to code up the programming for his fuckin star chart
TG: no way i should juste njoy my cycle or anything
TG: crack the whip
TG: were all fucking frustrated jane dont go and make excuses for him okay
TG: hes a straight up cocklord and we all know it
GG: I'm not fighting with you about that! That is solid fact.
GG: I'm just saying that the star chart is a good idea and you and J should get off his case about it.
TG: gonna stay heavily on his asshole case about that shit
TG: while i code this
TG: fuckin party poppers in the machine di stri lets see how u like me now
TG: no u are always spoilin my fun janey
TG: ilu but shut the hell up for once and let me ruin his shit
GG: Oh, you are such an absolute child sometimes! >:(
GG: When we finally meet I am going to shake you until your pathetic little neck snaps and then maybe you'll finally listen to someone other than yourself.
TG: try me sweetcheeks
TG: i know kung fu
GG: Show me.
TG: oh god
TG: janey i dont want 2 fight yyou
TG: damn i miss u
TG: i just want to curl up in bed and gossip about shitty boys
GG: Me too.
GG: I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said those things.
GG: It gets so hard to control sometimes.
GG: I just care about all of you so much and that makes me so angry now that I just explode!
TG: yeah :(((9
TG: <3 <3 <3
TG: i still love all of you guys
TG: i dont care what dumb cherub genes say
TG: im never gonna stop
GG: Oh, don’t ever stop, Roxy.
GG: I hope I never stop either.
GG: It's okay, J.
GG: It's really hard not to be mad about everything right now, but just know that I still care for you too.
GG: I always will.
GG: All of us always will and we know you will too.
-- gutsyGumshoe [GG] ceased cheering golgothasTerror [GT] --